Cold Fusion Memo to the White House
The following Memorandum, prepared by the late Dr. Eugene F. Mallove for
President William Jefferson Clinton, was requested in a phone call to
Infinite Energy Magazine in February 2000 by the White House Office of
Communications. The request for this
memorandum was made by the White House following the gracious personal
recommendation by our friend, the late Sir
Arthur C. Clarke, that the President receive this briefing material.
This memo was compiled and presented to the President with several dozen
essays from futurists, technologists, and others such as Sir Arthur C.
Clarke. Dr. Mallove later copied this same memo to the Bush
The Strange Birth of the Water Fuel Age:
The Cold Fusion "Miracle" Was No Mistake
by Eugene F. Mallove, Sc.D.*
SUMMARY for President Clinton
Beginning in 1989, a class of new energy technologies
has been developed that has the potential to provide pollution-free
energy of a magnitude far greater than fossil fuel, using forms
of hydrogen from water as the fuel in novel catalytic conditions.
The technologies challenge the understanding of physics which has
been used to justify continued investment in fossil fuels, nuclear
power plants, and the so-called "hot fusion" energy research programs.
The U.S. government has spent at least $15 billion on hot fusion
without achieving the "breakeven" point already achieved by the
new energy technologies.
Hydrogen as a fuel in engines and fuel cells has
been discussed and demonstrated for several decades. Fuel cells
are emerging into the commercial market, using hydrogen-rich chemical
compounds. These systems are based on chemical reactions whose energy
density (energy per unit of fuel) is very low. There are serious
problems in making, storing, and transporting hydrogen. The new
energy technologies use hydrogen in a far different way that extracts
thousands to millions of times the ordinary chemical combustion
energy of hydrogen. Thus, water is fuel!
In 1989, after five years of work and investment
of $100,000 of their own money, Professors Stanley Pons and Martin
Fleischmann announced the release of nuclear-scale energy from an
electrochemical cell using palladium as the cathode metal. In the
cell, heavy hydrogen is forced into the palladium until a new class
of nuclear reactions occurs, in which energy of great intensity
is released without the deadly radiation or radioactive by-products
produced by other nuclear energy processes. The Pons-Fleischmann
announcement ignited a controversy that is documented in the body
and references of this memorandum.
The DOE Energy Research Advisory Board "Cold Fusion
Panel" was convened at the direction of President Bush to review
the "cold fusion" controversy in its early days. The panel relied
heavily on misleading reports from the California Institute of Technology,
Harwell (England), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Reports from all three sources were negative, and ERAB recommended
against any government investment in "cold fusion." This had far-reaching
consequences, which seriously impeded but did not stop advances
in the field.
After over a decade of work, hundreds of peer-reviewed
scientific papers from laboratories around the world confirm the
Pons-Fleischmann discovery. It was just the tip of an iceberg of
a whole class of nuclear reactions--and other new hydrogen reactions--which
occur in metals that are heavily loaded with heavy or normal hydrogen
by any of several means. These are often called Low-Energy Nuclear
Reactions (LENR), or Chemically-Assisted Nuclear Reactions (CANR).
There is also a process, pioneered by BlackLight Power, Inc., that
produces catalytically altered hydrogen atoms. What these processes
have in common is the release of intense, nuclear-scale energies
without damaging radiation or radioactive by-products. Reactors
are small scale, requiring simple apparatus and common materials
with hydrogen as the fuel. Transmutations of the metal cathode materials
are commonly produced. In some cases, where radioactive materials
such as uranium and thorium are used in the cells, these are rapidly
transmuted into harmless by-products without production of harmful
radiation or explosions. In principle, radioactive waste from nuclear
reactors can similarly be deactivated without the political and
economic costs of burial.
Collectively, these emerging technologies point
to a much brighter future for mankind. They do not require resources
controlled by any small group of countries. They are concentrated,
portable, and democratic. Low cost realization and distribution
of devices and systems based on these technologies will require
the resources of a market economy and the removal of internal opposition
from vested interests in the U.S. government and industries, including
arbitrary blocking of "cold fusion" patent applications by the U.S.
Patent Office. Originators of these technologies may make fortunes,
but in the end mankind will be the beneficiary. Mr. President, you
need do only one thing now: Publicly state that you are going to
investigate this matter and then do it.
"Anything that is theoretically possible will be achieved
in practice, no matter what the technical difficulties, if it is
desired greatly enough."
Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future, 1963
It was 1870, just five years after the carnage
of the American Civil War. Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island
challenged readers with an audacious prediction: "I believe that
water will one day be employed as a fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen
which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible
source of heat and light, of an intensity of which coal is not capable...I
believe then that when the deposits of coal are exhausted, we shall
heat and warm ourselves with water. Water will be the coal of the
future." Though Verne predicted advanced submarines and flights
to the Moon--even the competition between the United States and
Russia in a lunar race, he was more prescient than anyone could
have imagined, at least not until the last decade of the 20th Century.
He turned out to be more than right about the power of water. Water
will begin to be the fuel of the future, in all probability this
There is an incontrovertible fact well known to
scientists working to control thermonuclear fusion energy for peaceful
power production: Within only one cubic kilometer of water,
there exists enough heavy hydrogen isotope, deuterium (heavy hydrogen),
such that if it is fused to the element helium at multi-million-degree
temperatures, enough energy is released to equal the combustion
energy of all the world's known oil. This planet has at least
one billion cubic kilometers of water; there is no danger of running
out of this fuel. Or, look at it this way: In only one gallon of
ordinary water, there is enough heavy hydrogen to produce the energy
equivalent of 300 gallons of gasoline. For worry warts: The heavy
hydrogen comprises only 0.015 percent of all the hydrogen in the
ordinary water, ergo there is no danger of a water depletion crisis
from fusion energy! Heavy hydrogen or deuterium, by the way, is
simply hydrogen that bears an extra neutron in its nucleus. It is
non-radioactive and easy to extract from water very cheaply.
If we only had a way to tap this fusion energy
safely and cheaply, the world's energy problems would be over; most
if not all environmental problems would be well on their way to
solution. If we could find a way to release this fusion energy benignly
without deadly radiation, and on a small scale, rather than in the
stadium-like tokamak thermonuclear fusion reactors--smaller, dysfunctional
prototypes of which are being tested at fantastic cost at Princeton,
MIT, and elsewhere--a millennial revolution in energy technology
would break out. It would mean an age in which the recurring cost
of energy production would approach zero, since the heavy hydrogen
is virtually free. The scope of that revolution would dwarf today's
Internet-World Wide Web upheaval. The age of "free information"
would have a partner: the age of virtually free energy! It may surprise
you to learn that the energy discovery described above was made
in the United States in the early 1980s, announced in 1989, and
subsequently confirmed by solid published scientific research--some
of that by Federal laboratories.1-7
So why have you not heard about it? This new energy
revolution is, indeed, in progress around the world. It is called
"cold fusion" energy, but, like many other scientific revolutions
of great import, the infant discovery and technology is having a
very difficult birth. One hopes that the influential readers of
this essay will stay the hands of the paradigm-paralyzed critics
in the scientific community who have maliciously and in some cases
illegally obstructed the field at every turn. Whether from ill will,
jealousy, or sheer misinformation, the antagonists "know not what
they do" to one of the brightest promises of our age. Now for
the rest of the story...
The Stage is Set
After Verne's astonishing suggestion of 1870,
oil from the bowels of the Earth, not water, emerged as the "coal
of the future." We entered the 20th Century and wars were fought
over this black gold. Even World War II had its roots, in part,
over the control of oil by Japan or the United States. That war
was ended by fission nuclear weapons, the sequel to a controversial
discovery made in Europe in 1938--a discovery, incidentally, that
was itself almost missed, but for some open-minded, concentrated
thinking. Fission was the "cold fusion" of the 1930s, sans critics!
In 1988, physicist Emilio Segre' reflected on
the 1930s discovery of fission by Hahn, Strassman, and Meitner:
"Their early papers are a mixture of error and truth as complicated
as the mixture of fission products resulting from the [neutron]
bombardments. Such confusion was to remain for a long time a characteristic
of much of the work on uranium." In their remarkable paper of December
22, 1938 in Naturwissenschaften announcing the fission discovery,
Hahn and Strassman wrote, "As nuclear chemists working very close
to the field of physics, we cannot yet bring ourselves to such a
drastic step, which goes against all previous experience in nuclear
physics." Yet nuclear fission was real. It became a world-changing
discovery, relatively easy to reproduce, but a bit harder to make
into bombs (fortunately!). It ended a terrible war and it preserved
the peace among superpowers long enough for Communism to collapse
Yet as the 20th Century merges into the 21st,
oil, coal, and natural gas have remained kings. The Chernobyl disaster
of 1986 dealt a devastating political blow to plans for expanding
the fission economy, which might have given some respite from the
tyranny of fossil fuels. Even in peacetime, oil and other fossil
fuels take their tolls in death and destruction--from burnings and
explosions in transportation, to slow deaths from atmospheric pollution.
Late in the 20th Century, a greater consciousness about the environment
arose, yet still the world remained in the grip of fossil fuels.
Ordinary renewable energy technologies, for all their good, remained
much too limited and problematic to be the solution to the world's
energy problems. Millions of people continue to die every year from
a variety of ills attributable directly or indirectly to the global
dependence on fossil fuel combustion. The threat of global warming
hangs in the air. Whether real or misjudged, the threat has to be
considered. As you will increasingly see, cold fusion energy is
the perfect preventative.
The exemplar of all that was wrong with the Age
of Oil struck on March 24, 1989 at 12:04 a.m. In the pristine waters
of Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska, the Exxon Valdez
ran aground and spilled eleven million gallons of crude oil. The
horrific, foolish disaster symbolized the ultimate futility of our
dangerous dependence on the planet's subterranean fossil fuels.
In what may eventually be considered one of the most profound coincidences
in history, less than twelve hours before the Exxon-Valdez grounding,
the difficult opening stages of a modern-day "miracle" was taking
place beneath the snow-covered Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Thursday,
March 23, 1989, brought a glimmer of hope from a city that had grown
up near the barren flatlands of the Great Salt Lake. At 1:00 p.m.
in Salt Lake City, chemistry professors Martin Fleischmann and Stanley
Pons burned their names into the history of the quest for energy
from water. Essentially unknown to the thermonuclear, hot
fusion community, they claimed to have achieved what seemed to be
impossible: power-producing fusion-like reactions at or near room
temperature--without deadly radiation that the hot fusioneers had
planned to use to make electricity from their reactors! Fleischmann
and Pons, and those who would later confirm their work, posed an
immediate threat to the hot fusion and physics establishments. The
heretics were dealt with as one might expect. The argument became,
"Since you are not dead from the radiation our theory expects from
your process, you must be incompetents or frauds."
The massive Exxon-Valdez oil spill drew deserved
national attention and outcry, but it did not eclipse the extraordinary
news from Utah about cold fusion--a concept that seemed to drop
from the sky like an alien intruder straight into the public psyche.
At the press conference held at the University of Utah, American
Stanley Pons, professor of chemistry and chairman of the Department
of Chemistry at the University of Utah, and British colleague Martin
Fleischmann, professor of electrochemistry at the University of
Southampton, England and Fellow of the Royal Society, really did
disclose an amazingly simple method to create power-producing nuclear
reactions--possibly fusion--not at hundreds of millions of degrees
in imitation of the stars, but at room temperature from a solid-state
The Genie of fusion shrugged in his ancient vessel
that year and amazed the world. The spring of 1989 will long be
remembered as a time of unexpected shaking, when extraordinary claims
by groups of researchers in Utah and subsequently around the world
led some scientists, even open-minded ones in hot fusion
(especially in Japan), to reexamine a decades-long, multi-billion
dollar quest to tame nuclear fusion. The struggle is to bring this
power of the stars down to Earth, much as fabled Prometheus snatched
fire from the gods. The interest of the scientific community and
the public at large in 1989 was temporarily galvanized by the idea
that a new kind of fusion process might soon lead to a way to get
the fusion Genie to stop shrugging and come completely out of his
bottle. He's half out now and will soon be out completely.
Paradigm Paralysis and Confirmation
Startling events occasionally make us step back
to get a better view of our pursuits and to examine cherished assumptions.
This often leads to rededication, to unforeseen possibilities, and
to new directions. The shaking of complacency now and then in a
positive way is healthy, no more so than in the fields of science
and technology, where intense concentration on an established course
sometimes promotes a too narrow focus. Sadly, there arose an unusual
brutality about the way the cold fusion claims and confirmations
Confirmation of the remarkable cold fusion claims
of 1989 was not to come easily. Unusual doubt and confusion (inevitably
termed "fusion confusion") beset a baffled, bemused, and even outraged
scientific community. A long quest ensued to confirm or disprove
the claims that nuclear fusion reactions can occur in apparatus
no more complex than a laboratory electrochemical cell, in pieces
of metal infused under pressure with heavy hydrogen gas, or in other
systems. Many more variants of the cold fusion process have been
discovered and even patented since 1989. Some of these employ the
ordinary (light) hydrogen in water; others operate at high temperatures
in the gas phase--having nothing to do with electrochemistry; still
others employ thin, layered metallic films that seem destined to
draw from the advanced materials science and manufacturing infrastructure
of the semiconductor industry. And, strange but true, there may
even be significant implications for the biotechnology industry.
It now seems that what Fleischmann and Pons discovered in the early
1980s was but the tip of the iceberg of a much larger class of fantastically
important phenomena connected with the catalysis of hydrogen and
its isotopes. There will likely be found multiple, interlocking
physical mechanisms necessary to encompass it all. The implications
transcend energy science, but energy alone would be enough reason
to make it one of the highest national priorities: All obstacles
must be removed from this science and technology--from obstruction
at the U.S. Patent Office to official interference by DOE officials.
The subject must be discussed openly by officials.
A small fraction of the compendious scientific
findings that support the phenomena of cold fusion energy are referenced
at these web sites: <http://www.infinite-energy.com>
Anyone who pontificates against this science ought to perform a
step-by-step critique of this evidence. The opinion of anyone who
argues against the experimental scientific evidence solely on theoretical
grounds should be immediately dismissed. Science does not move
forward only by gauging new discoveries against past theories. This
seems to have been forgotten by some of the elite purveyors of nonsense
against cold fusion. Not that there are not large numbers of theories
in support of cold fusion; there are. The late Julian Schwinger
(physics Nobel prize co-winner with Feynman) was a noted cold fusion
theorist. He was so outraged by the treatment of cold fusion by
the American Physical Society (APS) that he resigned from the organization.
Dr. Michael McKubre at SRI International, prime author
of the 1994 Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) study,8,9
which concluded that the Fleischmann and Pons discovery had been
confirmed by their work, had this to say: "Fortuitous or not, in
the first experiment that we ran, some three or four months after
the initial announcement, we saw some evidence of excess heat, which
has really sustained me ever since. Having seen the effect with
my own eyes, the claims from a few that this is impossible, or inconsistent
with all known laws of nuclear physics, these suggestions are in
fact irrelevant. There is no theoretical objection to cold fusion,
it's just unlikely given our experience with hot fusion."
The uninitiated might gauge the "religious belief"
against cold fusion in the almost humorous utterance by physics
Nobel laureate, theorist Steven Weinberg, who in an aside attacked
cold fusion in a recent New York Review of Books article,10
even though he gives no evidence of having considered experimental
data: "There do not seem to be any exceptions to this natural order,
any miracles....The evidence for all these [biblical] miracles seems
to be considerably weaker than the evidence for cold fusion, and
I don't believe in cold fusion."
To give another example of egregious misconduct
against science by the critics, here are the foolish words of Dr.
Robert L. Park, who claims to speak for the American Physical Society.
In his book,Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud,
Park dismisses cold fusion at its very first mention, referring
to it as "the discredited 'cold fusion' claim made several years
earlier by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann." He says that a
"dwindling band of believers" continue to gather each year "at some
swank international resort" in an attempt to "resuscitate" cold
fusion. He asks, "Why does this little band so fervently believe
in something the rest of the scientific community rejected as fantasy
years earlier?" He speculates later, "Perhaps many scientists found
in cold fusion relief from boredom." He complains that no helium
nuclear ash results were forthcoming from Fleischmann and Pons by
June 1989, ergo, cold fusion is fraud. Since at least 1991, Park
has been informed by fellow APS scientists, such as Dr. Scott Chubb
of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), about helium detection in
cathodes and in the gas streams of cold fusion experiments. These
independent experiments have been published in the U.S. and Japan
in peer-reviewed journals. There is absolutely no doubt that Park
knows this, yet Voodoo contains no mention of this data,
an egregious fraud by Park on journalists, government leaders, and
the general public. Mr. President, this is the level of inappropriate
discourse that you must see through.
The Politics of Cold Fusion
Cold fusion energy offers the prospect of energy
abundance over times comparable to geological ages, in contrast
to the microscopic blip in human history of reliance on fossil fuel.
If we expect our descendants to live virtually indefinitely on this
planet--until perhaps our Sun, our hot fusion reactor in the sky,
"dies" some five billion years hence--we had better plan now to
possess a source of inexhaustible power. Cold fusion is one energy
resource that is virtually infinite, but how to bring it about sooner
rather than later? To understand how to move forward, we need to
back up and examine what happened and what has been discovered this
When as an MIT undergraduate I read George Gamow's
book, Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory
(1966) it was impossible to imagine that in less than 25 years another
revolution, such as has been brought about by cold fusion, would
shake physics in ways every bit as dramatic as what happened from
1900 to 1930.
For just over a decade, the Cold Fusion and Low-Energy
Nuclear Reactions revolution has been underway, whether or not the
mainstream physics/chemistry establishment and the general science
media wish to agree. The barrier that separated conventionally understood
chemistry and nuclear physics has come crashing down like the infamous
Berlin Wall. The barrier does not exist, at least not within special
microphysical domains of palladium, nickel, and other metals in
contact with hydrogen. Exotic new physics is at work. The myth of
the "End of Science" again disproved.
The revolution does not even have a name on which
all the revolutionaries can agree. "Cold Fusion" is likely to stick,
if for no other reason than that is where it all began. The terms
LENR (Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions) and CANR (Chemically Assisted
Nuclear Reactions) have been tried. Dr. Randell Mills of BlackLight
Power, Inc., has a radically different theoretical approach and
an apparently robust commercial activity. Recent reports suggest
that Morgan Stanley-Dean Witter is about to take his company public
in 2000. (In February 2000 his company belatedly received U.S. Patent
6,024,935 on its process.) This may be the first of many other private
ventures in cold fusion/new energy. Another company, Lattice Energy,
LLC, has just been formed to further the LENR work of nuclear engineering
Professor George Miley at the University of Illinois. Several Fortune
100 companies are becoming involved in all this work, though they
are not quite ready to declare themselves--in a few more months,
The revolution began inauspiciously, with Drs.
Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons working for five years and spending
some $100,000 of their own funds before they announced their findings.
Circumstances forced disclosure at a press conference some eighteen
months before the scientists had wanted to publish. These complex
matters, of historical importance only, are chronicled in Fire
from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor
(Mallove, John Wiley & Sons, 1991). The scientific documentary video,
Cold Fusion: Fire from Water (1999) updates that story and
provides insight into the political dynamics of the controversy.
(The White House was sent these items in February 2000 and earlier.)
On that fateful day in 1989, Fleischmann and Pons
made their central claim, which has been abundantly proved and never
retracted, that in a heavy water electrochemical cell near room
temperature they had produced excess energy orders of magnitude
beyond explanation by chemistry. This was like discovering a
new kind of match that would not "burn out" for weeks or months,
yet would leave no initially obvious signs of a reaction product.
Certainly there was no chemical ash. They said that they
had detected neutrons and tritium in addition to the excess heat.
These were all signatures of nuclear reactions.
Unfortunately, they did not emphasize the difficulty
of producing the effects. At the time, because their hands were
tied by lawyers focussed on patent issues and conflicts with nearby
Brigham Young University, they were not even able to provide at
their news conference a preprint of their forthcoming Journal
of Electroanalytical Chemistry paper. Their neutron measurements
were flawed, as they later admitted. This was a failing, yet others
would later confirm in cold fusion experiments both low-level neutron
radiation as well as tritium evolution. The latter astonishing evidence
has been irrefutably proved by the work of Dr. Thomas Claytor's
group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.1 For national
security reasons alone, the President of the United States should
cause heads to roll about this matter! This is at least as important
as the security breach of computer files at LANL. Radioactive tritium,
the irrefutable evidence of a nuclear reaction--proof of
the reality of cold fusion, and a key material ingredient in thermonuclear
weapons-can now be produced in small quantities by means far easier
than with several multi-billion-dollar proposals. However, this
work cannot and should not be classified. It is already in the public
domain. (Significant improvement of the process to practical tritium-production
level might well need to be classified.)
Most important to an understanding of the heated
debate of the past decade: The Fleischmann-Pons announcement threatened
an entrenched Federal research program. Over $15 billion had been
invested by the U.S. government in its decades- long hot
fusion program, which sought to emulate the thermonuclear conditions
in the cores of stars. Hot fusion had promised a distant era of
safe, clean, infinite energy--variously estimated by funding seekers
to begin by 2050 to 2100. These programs may have resulted in useful
plasma physics research, but no net energy release in fusion energy
beyond the magnitude of the electric power put in--ever. Thermonuclear
bombs were at "breakeven," but controlled thermonuclear fusion reactors
at Princeton and at MIT are not. The magnetic hot fusion energy
program should be terminated quickly to prevent any more waste of
Fleischmann and Pons said in 1989 that they had
achieved breakeven already and, unlike hot fusion, there were no
deadly emissions. The claim of a chemically-assisted nuclear
fusion reaction with net energy release threatened to divert
Congressional funding from the hot fusion program. With private
zeal, and later public scorn, scientists supported by the hot fusion
program--particularly at MIT, my alma mater--sought errors in the
When the exact radiation signatures and end-products
of hot fusion reactions in a vacuum were not found in the Fleischmann-Pons
results or in quickly-done tests at other laboratories, scientists
at the MIT Plasma Fusion Center yelled "possible fraud," "scam,"
and "scientific schlock." On May 1, 1989, the story planted in the
Boston Herald by the then MIT hot fusion director unleashed
a torrent of anti-scientific bigotry. It did not occur to most scientists
that a new class of nuclear reactions might have been discovered.
As Nobel laureate Julian Schwinger would say in a lecture at MIT
in November 1991, "The circumstances of cold fusion are not those
of hot fusion." He was ignored.
The furor over cold fusion in the spring of 1989
prompted President George Bush, through Energy Secretary Admiral
James Watkins, to convene a "Cold Fusion Panel" of the U.S. Department
of Energy's Energy Research Advisory Board (ERAB). The late Nobel
laureate Glenn Seaborg had told President Bush in the Oval Office
on April 14, 1989 that the Utah discovery was "not fusion," thus
poisoning the well and precluding an honest investigation. One of
the 22 ERAB panelists had thought at the time: "Just by looking
at Fleischmann and Pons on television you could tell they were incompetent
boobs." (Professor William Happer of Princeton, quoted by G. Taubes
in the book Bad Science.) So much for the claim that the
ERAB panel was "unbiased." The head of the panel, Professor John
Huizenga, was initially opposed to having any investigation at all,
yet he was allowed to lead it!
This panel, convened by the Department of Energy,
was assigned to assess reports from various laboratories and to
make recommendations to the U.S. government. Three major laboratories
submitted negative reports. These were MIT, Caltech, and Harwell
(England). The ERAB report was negative, and quickly so. A preliminary
negative conclusion came in July 1989 and the final report November
1, 1989, with the following consequences: 1) No special funding
by the U.S. government for further research; 2) Flat denial by the
U.S. Patent Office of any application mentioning cold fusion directly;
3) Suppression of research on the phenomenon in government laboratories;
4) Citation of cold fusion as "pathological science" or "fraud"
in numerous books and articles critical of cold fusion in general,
and of Fleischmann and Pons in particular. Drs. Fleischmann and
Pons would leave the United States to work on cold fusion in France
for a subsidiary of the Toyota Corporation (IMRA Europe). Stanley
Pons became a citizen of France, in legitimate disgust with his
treatment in the United States. Mr. President, you simply must
have the courage to redress this outrage and have our government
apologize to these extraordinary scientists. The probably illegal
killing of their patent application must be redressed too.
The 1989 reports of MIT, Caltech, and Harwell
have each been analyzed by competent scientists and these analyses
have been published.11-16 Each of the widely cited 1989
"null" experiments has been found to be deeply flawed in experimental
protocols, data evaluation, and presentation. Each, in fact, contained
some evidence of excess heat as claimed by Fleischmann and Pons.
In the case of the MIT data, there is evidence of deliberate alteration
of laboratory measurements by a lower-echelon worker to erase an
indication of excess heat in official MIT publications and reports
to a government agency under the official seal of MIT. Certainly
this report had a dramatic impact on the perception of numerous
scientists and most journalists. (Mr. President, this very unfortunate
matter has now been referred to the Inspector General's Office at
two Federal agencies.)
A great irony: Each of these negative results
were themselves the product of the kind of low quality work of which
Fleischmann and Pons were accused. The difference was that the reports
said what the hot fusion community wanted to hear. This was the
legacy of the 1989 ERAB report, but that legacy must now be reversed--and
it will be, however long that takes. One method of ending the
charade would be for the President of the United States to issue
an executive order to the Secretary of Energy to conduct a thorough,
unbiased investigation of the entire cold fusion, low-energy nuclear
reactions question and to explore how the DOE came to play such
a negative, obstructionist role. DOE laboratories should be compelled
to work under the direction of those who have achieved significant
positive results, such that there can be no doubt in anyone's mind
about these phenomena.
Almost two years after they were concocted, Professor
Ronald Parker of MIT's Plasma Fusion Center publicly stated that
the MIT PFC cold fusion calorimetry data were "worthless" (June
7, 1991). In the same period (August 30, 1991) after his data had
been challenged, Parker stated that "MIT scientists stand by their
conclusions." Which is it? The full story is given in detail in
a "Special Report: MIT and Cold Fusion" in the 10th Anniversary
issue of Infinite Energy, which The White House has been
provided. You will find the names of former Federal officials in
this document: CIA Director John Deutch and Air Force Secretary
Fleischmann and Pons have been vindicated--if
not by the media and by the establishment, certainly by mountains
of high quality published results. The literature on the Fleischmann-Pons
effect is now voluminous. These are not fantasies. This is solid
work, the kind of pioneering, exhaustive experimentation that could
have been done at places such as MIT, Caltech, and Harwell, but
wasn't. We must now go beyond this sorry past.
The production of excess heat in the range of
hundreds of megajoules per mole of metal has been confirmed, as
well as the production of helium, tritium, and other elements. Power
densities of kilowatts per cubic centimeter of electrode have been
achieved by some researchers. The field of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions
has been established, if not yet widely recognized. Low-energy neutrons
or weak gamma radiation are seen in some experiments, but most produce
excess heat with no radiation or radioactive by-products. Rapid
remediation of radioactive materials has been demonstrated. What
a fantastic opportunity for universities such as MIT and private
industry to become involved in one of the most exciting scientific
and technological revolutions of all time. No massive Federal expenditures
are required. This is a process that private industry can run with,
as long as it is unhampered by bureaucratic interference.
Certainly the replication and commercial application
of the Fleischmann-Pons effect and similar effects has been inhibited
by a lack of understanding of the exact nature of the reactions,
which are not those known to plasma physicists. There is a severe
and widespread materials and theory problem related to materials
that produce the effects. Criteria are available to test materials
for potential activity, but knowledge of how to produce such material
at will is not yet available.
Sad to say, solving the materials problem may
be beyond the financial resources of the scattered researchers who
have worked to validate the Fleischmann and Pons effect, but it
is heartening that private corporations are taking the lead in correcting
the problem caused by some in government and the academic establishment.
Unfortunately, the negative reports by key hot fusion laboratories
to ERAB prevented diversion of government funding from the failed
hot fusion program to the promising field of cold fusion. The patent-crushing
ERAB report also became a severe deterrent to private investment
in the new energy field.
We return to George Gamow's musings of 1966. Gamow
thought that the next major physics revolution would be in understanding
the very existence of elementary particles. He wrote, "There is
hardly any doubt that when such a breakthrough is achieved, it will
involve concepts that will be as different from those of today as
today's concepts are different from those of classical physics."
He was both wrong and right. He could not have suspected that the
next physics revolution would begin not with high energy particle
physics but with fundamental electrochemistry--and that it would
end with the birth of what might be called "modern alchemy." The
revolution will be the end of the world that we have known, this
time for the better.
Snatching Victory from Defeat
Recent events: Senator John McCain, running in
the New Hampshire primary for the Republican presidential nomination,
agreed to be briefed on cold fusion. He kept his word. Within a
week of his promise, he sent a top aide to our offices at the Bow
Technologies Center. He received briefing materials that were to
be handed to the Senator. Thus, Senator McCain became the very first
major party presidential candidate in history to receive a high-level
briefing about cold fusion. This briefing occurred before
he won the February 1 New Hampshire Republican primary by a large
margin over Governor Bush of Texas and others.
I later sought to ask Vice President Al Gore,
while he was campaigning in Concord, New Hampshire for the Democratic
Presidential nomination, whether he too would agree to a cold fusion
briefing. On January 13, I attended a Gore question-and-answer meeting
at Temple Beth Jacob in Concord, but was unable to ask him the question--the
Vice President was very long in responding to so many of the other
questions that time simply ran out. This was the same venue in which
eight years earlier, almost to the day, I had asked you about cold
fusion when you were a candidate, Mr. President! You seemed to know
something about it, because you said that some Arkansas scientists
had been "stonewalled" on cold fusion by the DOE. In all probability
As has been reported in Infinite Energy,
it is our understanding that in the early 1990s Vice President Gore
shied away from a cold fusion briefing by qualified scientists,
after being urged to do so by a colleague at Apple Computer Corporation.
The Vice President then reportedly stated that the topic was "too
controversial, too complex--give it to the science advisor." With
your encouragement, we hope that the Vice President will now be
more open to discussions.
For the record, the question that was handed to Mr. Gore's
representative on January 13, 2000:
Question for Al Gore from Dr. Eugene Mallove,
Mr. Vice President:
I'm Dr. Eugene Mallove, a member of this Temple
and editor of the scientific journal Infinite Energy magazine.
I would like to ask you two critical questions about energy and
the environment, because I know those topics are dear to you--it
may even help you win over Bradley because of the boondoggle going
on in his state at Princeton! [The Princeton tokamak fusion reactor.]
I hope that you will be very forthcoming in your response -- as
Senator John McCain was when I asked him last week in Bow, at a
Town Hall Meeting. You can be instrumental in ending a scientific
scandal over energy that has been going on since the Exxon-Valdez
ran aground on March 24, 1989-- the day after Drs. Fleischmann and
Pons made their cold fusion announcement at the University of Utah.
Candidate Bill Clinton, right here in this room on January 12, 1992,
told those assembled that he knew something about the scandal--he
said Department of Energy scientists had "stonewalled Arkansas scientists."
Despite that, I regret to tell you he has done nothing about it
except [by inaction due to being misinformed] make the scandal grow
worse. Here are the two questions:
1. Will you agree to help end the
Cold Fusion controversy by agreeing to a scientific briefing here
in New Hampshire, by representatives of the hundreds of American
scientists working in the cold fusion and low-energy nuclear reactions
field-including my colleague Dr. Edmund Storms of Los Alamos National
Mr. President, the rest may be up to you. You have
heard the story. It is true. Every word. Nothing will hold back the
cold fusion/new energy revolution from happening in due course, but
with the stroke of your pen, a few taps on your computer, or perhaps
a few telephone calls, you have it in the power to help accelerate
the Cold Fusion/New Energy Age. Just as Secretary of War William Howard
Taft in the Roosevelt Administration cut through bureaucratic opposition
and forced the Army to call the Wright brothers in 1908 to demonstrate
their "flyer" to a crowd of thousands at Ft. Meyer, Virginia--and
thereby ended years of doubt about their 1903 accomplishment, launching
the Aerospace Age--you can break the opposition of the perpetrators
of the "HeavyWatergate" scandal. That act of courage and imagination
will never be forgotten. Thank you.
2. After this, would you consider proposing a
National Academy of Sciences review of the cold fusion and low energy
nuclear reactions issue based on the large body of scientific evidence
that has built up since what we regard as the indefensible, rush-to-judgment,
even fraudulent report by the Department of Energy in 1989?
Let me end as I began with a few remarks by Sir Arthur C. Clarke,
who recommended that your staff request this essay from me:
"Like everyone else, I was very excited
when the so-called 'cold fusion' announcement was made. And then,
again like everybody else, I became disappointed and forgot about
the whole thing when it seemed to be a mistake, though I was rather
puzzled why two world-class scientists could have made such fools
of themselves. Well, during the years that followed, slowly, from
time to time, there came news of other laboratories repeating the
experiment and getting positive results. And there has been a sort
of groundswell, all over the whole world, of new information. And
during the course of the last five years or so, I've slowly become
convinced, from my original skepticism, to 99% certainty that it
is for real. The evidence now is really overwhelming."
Cold Fusion: Fire from Water, 1999
"If these new sources of energy do turn out
to be real - and as I say there are several totally different
varieties - the question is: What effect will this have on our
society? On the future? Well, it's just possible they may be no
more than laboratory curiosities, and can't be scaled up to commercial
levels. I think that's rather unlikely. Nuclear energy was once
a laboratory curiosity. So let's assume that these devices can
be developed. The future is then almost unlimited. It could be
the end of the fossil fuel age: the end of oil and coal. And the
end, incidentally, of many of our worries about global pollution
and global warming."
Cold Fusion: Fire from Water, 1999
Los Alamos National Laboratory
- ·"Tritium Production from a Low Voltage Deuterium
Discharge on Palladium and Other Metals," T.N. Claytor, D.D. Jackson,
and D.G. Tuggle, published on WWW and reprinted in Infinite
Energy, No. 7, March-April 1996, pp. 39-42,
Over the past year we have been able
to demonstrate that a plasma loading method produces an exciting
and unexpected amount of tritium from small palladium wires.
In contrast to electrochemical hydrogen or deuterium loading
of palladium, this method yields a reproducible tritium generation
rate when various electrical and physical conditions are met.
. . We will show tritium generation rates for deuterium-palladium
foreground runs that are up to 25 times larger than hydrogen-palladium
control experiments using materials from the same batch. [See
also, "Tritium Evolution from Various Morphologies of Deuterated
Palladium," Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference
on Cold Fusion, December 6-9, 1993, Maui, Hawaii, Edited
by Y.O. Passell, EPRI TR-104188, July 1994.]
- ·"Electrolytic Tritium Production," by Edmund
Storms and Carol Talcott, Fusion Technology, Vol. 17, July
1990, pp. 680-695.
Fifty-three electrolytic cells of various
configurations and electrode compositions were examined for
tritium production. Significant tritium was found in 11 cells
at levels between 1.5 and 80 times the starting concentration
after enrichment corrections are made.
- ·"Review of Experimental Observations About
the Cold Fusion Effect," by Edmund Storms, Fusion Technology,
Vol.20, December 1991, pp. 433-477.
The experimental literature describing
the cold fusion phenomenon is reviewed. The number and variety
of careful experimental measurements of heat, tritium, neutron,
and helium production strongly support the occurrence of nuclear
reactions in a metal lattice near room temperature, as proposed
by Pons and Fleischmann, and independently by Jones.
Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Research Department,
Chemistry Division and University of Texas, Department
- ·"Anomalous Effects Involving Excess Power,
Radiation, and Helium Production During D2O Electrolysis Using
Palladium Cathodes," by Melvin H. Miles, Benjamin F. Bush, and
Joseph J. Lagowski, Fusion Technology, Vol. 25, July 1994,
Previous experiments showed that eight
electrolysis gas samples collected during episodes of excess
power production in two identical cells contained measurable
amounts of 4He while six control samples gave no evidence for
helium... This places the 4He production rate at 1011 to 1012
atom/s per watt of excess power, which is the correct magnitude
for typical fusion reactions that yield helium as a product...
Simultaneous evidence for excess power, helium production, and
anomalous radiation was present in these experiments. Completely
new experiments with more precise helium measurements are reported
that again show simultaneous evidence for excess power, helium
production, and anomalous radiation.
- ·"Anomalous Effects in Deuterated Systems,"
by Melvin H. Miles, Benjamin F. Bush, and Kendall B. Johnson,
NAWCWPNS Technical Publication 8302, September 1996, 99 pages.
Excess power was measured in 28 out
of 94 electrochemical experiments conducted using palladium
or palladium-alloy cathodes in heavy water. . .Results from
our laboratory indicate that helium-4 is the missing nuclear
product accompanying the excess heat. Thirty out of 33 experiments
showed a correlation between either excess power and helium
production or no excess power and no excess helium. The collection
of the electrolysis gases in both glass and metal flasks place
the helium-4 production rate at 1011 to 1012 atoms per second
per watt of excess power. This is the correct magnitude for
typical deuteron fusion reactions that yield helium-4 as a product.
Anomalous radiation was detected in some experiments by the
use of X-ray films, Geiger-Mueller counters, and by the use
of sodium iodide detectors. There was never any significant
production of tritium in any of our experiments. . . Our results
provide compelling evidence that the anomalous effects in deuterated
systems are real...It is highly unlikely that our heat and helium
correlations could be due to random errors. . . Our best experiments
produced up to 30% excess heat, 0.52 watts of excess power,
and 1400 kilojoules (kJ) of excess enthalpy. This amount of
excess enthalpy is difficult to explain by any chemical reaction.
. . Anomalous radiation was detected in some experiments by
the use of X-ray films, several different types of Geiger-Mueller
(GM) counters, and sodium iodide (NaI) detectors. Normal radiation
counts were always observed when no electrolysis experiments
were running. . .
Naval Ocean Systems Center and U.S. Department of Energy
- ·"On the Behavior of Pd Deposited in the Presence
of Evolving Deuterium," S. Szpak (Navy), J.J. Smith (DOE), J.
Electroanalytical Chemistry, 302 (March 11, 1991), pp. 255-260.
. . .Three sets of preliminary experimental
results are presented here, i.e., the production of excess enthalpy,
the production of tritium, and the presence of some form of
NASA Lewis (Glenn) Research Center
- ·"Replication of the Apparent Excess Heat Effect
in a Light Water-Potassium Carbonate-Nickel Electrolytic Cell,"
by Janis M. Niedra, Ira T. Meyers, Gustave C. Fralick, and Richard
S. Baldwin, NASA Technical Memorandum 107167, February 1996.
Replication of experiments claiming
to demonstrate excess heat production in light water-Ni-K2CO3
electrolytic cells was found to produce an apparent excess heat
of 11 watts maximum for 60 W electrical power into the cell.
Power gains ranged from 1.06 to 1.68. . .
SRI International and Electric Power Research Institute
- ·"Development of Advanced Concepts for Nuclear
Processes in Deuterated Metals," M.C.H. McKubre, et al., EPRI
TR-104195, Research Project 3170-01, Final Report, August 1994,
128 pages, plus 342 pages on microfiche.
This work confirms the claims of Fleischmann,
Pons, and Hawkins of the production of excess heat in deuterium-loaded
palladium cathodes at levels too large for chemical transformation...
Although nuclear reaction products commensurate with the excess
heat have not yet been observed, small but definite evidence
of nuclear reactions have been detected at levels some 40 orders
of magnitude greater than predicted by conventional nuclear
- ·"Isothermal Flow Calorimetric Investigations
of the D/Pd and H/Pd Systems," M.C.H. McKubre, S. Crouch-Baker,
R.C. Rocha-Filho, S.I. Smedley, F.L. Tanzella, T.O. Passell, and
J. Santucci, Journal of Electroanaytical Chemistry, 368,
. . .the generation of "excess power"
was observed in a series of deuterium-based experiments, but
not in a hydrogen-based experiment. The results of these experiments
enable several (tentative) conclusions to be reached concerning
the conditions necessary for the reproducible observation of
this anomalous thermal effect.
- ·Steven Weinberg, New York Review of Books,
Oct. 21, 1999.
- ·Swartz, Dr. Mitchell R., "Re-Examination
of a Key Cold Fusion Experiment: 'Phase-II' Calorimetry by the
MIT Plasma Fusion Center," Fusion Facts, August 1992, pp.
- ·Swartz, Dr. Mitchell R., "A Method to Improve
Algorithms Used to Detect Steady State Excess Enthalpy,"Proceedings:
Fourth International Conference on Cold Fusion (December 6-9,
1993, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii), and in Transactions of Fusion
Technology, Vol. 26, December 1994, pp. 369-372.
- ·Swartz, Dr. Mitchell R., "Some Lessons from
Optical Examination of the PFC Phase-II Calorimetric Curves, Proceedings:
Fourth International Conference on Cold Fusion (December 6-9,
1993, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii).
- ·Noninski, Drs. V.C. and C.I. "Comments on
'Measurement and Analysis of Neutron and Gamma Ray Emission Rates,
Other Fusion Products, and Power, in Electrochemical Cells Having
Palladium Cathodes," Fusion Technology, Vol. 19, May 1991,
- ·Miles, Melvin H., B.F. Bush, and D. Stillwell,
"Calorimetric Principles and Problems in Measurements of Excess
Power During Pd-D2O Electrolysis," J. Physical Chemistry,
Feb. 17, 1994, pp. 1948-1952.
- ·Hansen, Wilford N. and M.E. Melich, "Pd/D
Calorimetry-The Key to the F/P Effect and a Challenge to Science,"Proceedings:
Fourth International Conference on Cold Fusion (December 6-9,
1993, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii), and in Transactions of Fusion Technology,
Vol. 26, December 1994, pp. 355-368.
Biographical Note for Dr. Eugene F. Mallove
Since 1995, Dr. Mallove has been the Editor-in-Chief
and Publisher of the bi-monthly Infinite Energy Magazine,
based in Concord, New Hampshire. Now in its fifth year of publication,
Infinite Energy covers advances in the field of cold fusion
and new energy technology and has subscribers in 38 countries, with
an average print run of 5,000.
The magazine's New Hampshire-based parent company,
Cold Fusion Technology, Inc., operates the New Energy Research Laboratory
(NERL) and the magazine publishing facility at the Bow Technologies
Center in Bow, New Hampshire.
Dr. Mallove holds a Master of Science Degree (SM,
1970) and Bachelor of Science Degree (SB, 1969) in Aeronautical
and Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and a Science Doctorate in Environmental Health Sciences
(Air Pollution Control Engineering) from Harvard University (1975).
With broad experience in high technology engineering at companies
including Hughes Research Laboratories, TASC (The Analytic Science
Corporation), and MIT Lincoln Laboratory, he has also had extensive
hands-on experience in laboratory settings
Since 1991 he has worked as a consultant to U.S.
corporations and investment firms doing R&D in cold fusion. He is
the author of three science books for the general public, including
the Pulitzer-nominated book on cold fusion, Fire from Ice: Searching
for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor (John Wiley & Sons,
1991). He has taught science journalism at MIT and at Boston University;
he was Chief Science Writer at the MIT News Office when cold fusion
erupted. Prior to that he was a top science writer and broadcaster
with the Voice of America in Washington, DC and also wrote
science and technology articles for magazines and newspapers, including
MIT Technology Review and The Washington Post.
Articles about Dr. Mallove's cold fusion work
have appeared in TWA Ambassador Magazine (September 1997)
and in Wired (November 1998). Dr. Mallove's review article,
"Cold Fusion: The Miracle Was No Mistake," appeared in the July/August
1997 Analog. Dr. Mallove is often called upon for radio interviews
as an expert in the field of cold fusion and new energy.
Eugene Mallove was the Technical Advisor to the
1997 Paramount Pictures techno-thriller, "The Saint," starring Val
Kilmer and Elisabeth Shue, and is credited in the film. The central
theme of the movie is cold fusion. In April 1999, the definitive
cold fusion video documentary written by Dr. Mallove and his colleagues,
"Cold Fusion: Fire from Water," was released. Its narrator is James
Doohan, "Scotty" of "Star Trek" fame.
President Clinton Responds During His Last Days in Office
January 18, 2001
Dr. Eugene F. Mallove
New Energy Research Laboratories
Post Office Box 2816
Concord, New Hampshire 03302-2816
Thank you for your memorandum "The Strange Birth of the Water Fuel
Age," which was compiled into a book entitled Visions of the
Future from Leading Thinkers. I was glad to have your insights
about the critical challenges in the field of high technology, and
I commend you for your commitment to improving our world. I hope
you will remain involved in the important issues of this new century.
Best wishes for every happiness in the years to come.
Bill Clinton [The signature appears to be an official signature,
not an autopen or stamp!]